Pull the Root: Berkeley Passes War Resister Amnesty Resolution

Sign from antiwar demos on the 7th Anniversary of the Iraq Invasion in SF, March 19, 2010

Berkeley’s City Council passed a Resolution on Tuesday recommending “Universal and Unconditional Amnesty for Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan War Military Resisters and Veterans Who Acted In Opposition to the War for Matters of Conscience.”

It recommends forgiveness for all convictions or pending charges of desertion, Absence Without Leave (AWOL), and Unauthorized Absence (UA), or who have been convicted of charges related to their exercise of free speech concerning opposition to the illegal war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and/or Pakistan. It also recommends amnesty for those with less than honorable discharges for absence offenses and applies to all service-members serving since October 7, 2001.

The resolution will be sent to CA Senators, Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Barbara Lee, and the President.

The last time Universal Unconditional Amnesty was brought up was when President Jimmy Carter granted Unconditional Amnesty amounting to “full, complete and unconditional pardon” to draft resisters following the Vietnam War. So there is a precedent for UUA–let’s hope it is sooner rather than several years after military personnel come home. Imagine if cities across the nation started passing similar resolutions?

Berkeley has already been a sanctuary city for conscientious objectors for almost two decades. May 15th is International Conscientious Objectors Day and three years ago Berkeley proclaimed May 15th of every year as Berkeley CO and War Resisters Day.

The full resolution is below.


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